How to Determine If an Older Adult Has Mild Cognitive Impairment

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Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a relatively common condition that can impact a senior’s memory, spatial awareness, coordination, judgment, and emotional stability. MCI is also one of the leading risk factors for dementia, which is why it’s important to address this issue as soon as you notice any early warning signs. Here are a few of the most common symptoms of MCI and some tactics you can use to delay or minimize the symptoms. 

Following Movies and Books Becomes Difficult

If your loved one is no longer able understand complex storylines, he or she could lose all interest in books and movies. Some seniors even have a difficult time following straightforward conversations. If your parent’s attention span seems to be diminishing, you should find shorter movies and books that can hold his or her attention. Anything you can do to keep your loved one stimulated could slow the rate of cognitive decline and minimize the risk of dementia. Some of the best activities for seniors with MCI include crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, board games, and card games. 

Seniors who need regular mental and social stimulation can benefit from professional in-home care. Although it may be challenging to find a reliable, highly rated home care company, Coral Gables, FL, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.

Making Decisions Has Become Overwhelming

Making everyday decisions shouldn’t be difficult for a healthy senior. However, there may come a point when your parent becomes irritated or angry whenever he or she has to make insignificant decisions. These negative emotions may seem to come out of nowhere, and they are typically the result of confusion. Instead of asking your loved one to decide between multiple choices, try to keep your questions as simple as possible. An example would be letting your loved one choose between two outfits instead of asking him or her to go through the entire wardrobe to pick out clothes. 

Navigating Around Town Is Confusing or Impossible

MCI affects the area of the brain that controls spatial awareness, which is why many seniors with this condition have a difficult time following directions. They often become lost on walks or forget where their favorite restaurants are. General confusion should never be taken lightly, and you may need to schedule an appointment with a neurologist for more comprehensive testing. Seniors who are diagnosed with MCI might be prescribed various medications to delay cognitive decline and prevent further damage to the brain. 

In addition to taking their medications, seniors can slow cognitive decline and delay memory loss by making healthy lifestyle choices. If your loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits and accomplishing daily tasks, a Coral Gables in-home caregiver from Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers are expertly trained to provide mental and social stimulation, assist with exercise, prepare nutritious meals, and much more.

Impulsive Behavior and Poor Judgment Occur Frequently

Some impulsivity is completely normal, but your parent’s actions should never be dangerous or put his or her finances at risk. If impulsivity is having an impact on your loved one’s health or wellbeing, he or she may need constant supervision. Managing impulsive behavior generally requires prescription medications as well as therapy, and it could be quite some time before you see any improvements. Try to enlist the help of friends and family members until you can come up with a long-term treatment plan.

Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your senior loved one needs help managing the symptoms of MCI or another form of cognitive decline. In Coral Gables, FL, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To learn about our revolutionary in-home care plans and high-quality senior care services, call us at 1 (305) 964-5636 today.